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Archive Treasures - LOOKIN’ TO GET OUT


"Archive Treasures" showcases works from the UCLA Film & Television Archive's extensive collection, one of the largest moving image collections in the world. Included in the series will be deserving and rarely screened gems presented in original and restored prints.

Cineclub members get in free!

Monday June 29th at 7:30PM

Director's Cut!

Directed by Hal Ashby
The storied and tragic trajectory of Hal Ashby's career turns sharply from the phenomenal promise and success of the 1970s--The Landlord, Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Coming Home, Being There--to the self-destruction and decline of the 1980s. Rarely screened and long difficult to find on home video, however, Ashby's 1982 film Lookin' to Get Out adds a wrinkle to this neat divide between decades. Starring Jon Voight, who co-wrote the script with Alan Schwartz, Lookin' to Get Out follows the travails of "beautiful losers," Alex (Voight) and Jerry (Young), who flee New York for Las Vegas with a pair of loan sharks on their tale. After Alex scams their way into a penthouse at the MGM Grand and a stack of chips on credit--with the unwitting help of Alex's ex girlfriend (Margret)--the hapless pair set their sights on the "big score" but fate comes calling to cash them both out. On his fourth outing with cinematographer Haskell Wexler, Ashby revels in exposing the glittering facades of Vegas in 1980s but where his most celebrated films engage the larger zeitgeist through irony and humor, here, Ashby narrows focus to burrow deep into the nature of personal loyalty and friendship. As the obsessive-compulsive gambler, Alex, Voight delivers a frenzied, high-wire performance set against Young's compellingly understated turn as the long-suffering Jerry. It's a dazzling balancing act that Ashby handles as adroitly as when he was at his peak. Met with harsh reviews and harsher box office on its initial release, Lookin' to Get Out is ripe for reconsideration as it makes its Warner Home Video DVD debut on Tuesday, June 30.

The Lookin' to Get Out DVD will feature the director's cut version being screened tonight. This version of the film was recently discovered twenty-seven years after it was first released. As Voight -- who was instrumental in the film's development and the writing of screenplay (as a co-writer) -- tells it, "For various reasons, the film we released didn't really represent Hal's best work. I knew every version of the script and every cut, so I was understandably excited when I heard about this, yet I also didn't want to be disappointed. But when I saw it, I knew instantly it had Hal's touch. The way he took all the elements and made it his own, it was almost like we were working together again. When Hal Ashby [an OscarĀ® winning editor] cut his films himself, it was magic." HDcam, 105 min.

IN PERSON: Actor Jon Voight and screenwriter-director Curtis Hanson.



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